Australian investigation leads to biggest ever US meth seizure

"Through a collaborative effort - pooling our information, resources and expertise - we are keeping this risky contraband from reaching our streets and potentially saving lives".

The previous record haul of methamphetamine seized in Australia was 1.3 tons in December 2017.

The investigation was commenced as a result of intelligence gathered by the Victorian Joint Organised Crime Taskforce (JOCTF) about a planned large-scale drug importation by a suspected syndicate operating out of California.

Two American nationals were among six people arrested in Australia yesterday; four in Victoria and two in NSW.

The investigation appeared to reveal cooperation between Mexican cartels and Australian biker gangs, developing what authorities say is a worrying new vector for drugs to arrive to Australia.

"This is the largest seizure of ice bound for Australia ever". If it had made it to Australian streets, it's estimated to be worth approximately $1.29 billion dollars and equates to some 17 million hits.

The investigation eventually expanded to include the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the Coast Guard; Los Angeles, Long Beach and Los Angeles port police; and the Los Angeles and Orange County sheriff's departments, CBP said. Two other Australians face the same charge. Two of those arrested, a 52-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman, are Americans.

They are both charged with attempting to import a commercial quantity of ice, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

"This is a serious warning, we now believe the Mexican cartels are actively targeting Australia", said Assistant Commissioner Bruce Hill of the Australian Federal Police. "Every day, USA and Australian law enforcement officers work together to keep us all safe".

"Working together with our law enforcement colleagues at a state, national and worldwide level, we are able to disrupt the illicit drug trade before it reaches the Australian community".

Authorities in Canada also conducted searches in Burnaby, British Columbia, as they attempted to crack down on the global crime syndicate believed behind the smuggling.

According to authorities in the Australian state of Victoria, around 2 tons of meth is consumed in the state every year.

Australian authorities will hold a press conference this morning.

Vanessa Coleman

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